Monday, 26 June 2006
Raging Hormone Woman Strikes
Topic: Age & Weight Loss
Saturday evening my body was inhabited by an alien being, who used my mouth to say things like “Why don’t we just get a pizza?” and to eat two servings of cookies for dessert. The next morning, when she was gone and I was left assessing the damage, I realized I recognized the alien. It was Raging Hormone Woman. RHW has taken possession of me before. Usually I can placate her with occasional offerings of chocolate, but occasionally she takes over and does things counter to my best interests, such as stuffing down vast quantities of foods I normally avoid, screaming unkind words at my husband, or bursting into tears at a song on the supermarket Muzak.
In this case, I figured she’d pretty well undone any chance I had of hanging onto my hard-won half-pound loss from the week before. I gave myself the usual morning-after pep talks (it’s the long-term that counts; all that healthful eating of the past two weeks was good for you even if you don’t lose weight; when you slip up just keep going, blah, blah) and got right back on program.
When I weighed in this morning, I had managed to hang on to my loss from last week. I felt relieved for a few minutes. Then my inner teenager began to pipe up. “Well, how about that? We got away with it! Note to self: you can eat three slices of pizza and two servings of cookies and milk, and not gain weight. We’ll do that again!”
NO, NO, NO! That is not the take-home lesson here. The thought I’m trying to hold on to is that the goal is to lose weight and eat healthful foods, not to maintain weight and eat junk. I’m trying to remind the inner teenager that just because you got away with something once, doesn’t mean it’s a good long-term strategy for health. I’ve got my fingers in my ears, singing “La, la, la, la, la, la...” to try to drown out the sound of her saying things like “Let’s do it again!” and “Hey, I wonder what ELSE we could get away with?”
It’s hell being in the sandwich generation.
Sunday, 24 July 2005
Is Weight Loss Harder for Older Women?
Topic: Age & Weight Loss
This is in response to the often-asked question of whether being in the 50+ age group keeps you from losing weight as well as younger women:
No, I don't think being 50+ keeps us from losing as well as younger women. Our metabolisms may be slower and our bodies may try harder to hold onto the weight, but I think we have some advantages to offset that.
Maturity - I think this gives us a sense of perspective, an understanding of consequences, and the ability to take responsibility for our actions.
Experience - Many of us have lost weight before and put it back on. Each time we've learned things which may make us more successful this time.
Urgency - It's not like when we were in our 20's and had a whole lifetime in front of us, when we figured we'd start worrying about a healthy lifestyle...sometime. When you reach your 50's, 'sometime' is now. That can be a motivation. Plus, for some of us, our poor habits have started to catch up with us in the form of problems with blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar, and we have to do something about it.
Self-Knowledge - By this age, most of us know ourselves pretty well. We can't fool ourselves as easily, and we have a better idea of what works and what doesn't work for us.
Self-Confidence - We're less subject to peer-pressure than the young folk, and less concerned with what others think of us. If our friends are all drinking beer or eating cheesecake, we can say "No, thank you" with much less self-consciousness.
Realism - Most of us realize that we're not going to look like an airbrushed, anorexic super-model even when we're at our ideal weight, and what's more, we don't really want to. Our goals are more realistic and achievable, and we don't expect that weight loss will completely transform our lives or our personalities.
Grit - Few people reach their 50's without having weathered rough times and gotten through some of life's difficulties. We know that we can, with courage and determination, do things that are difficult to do.
Self-Reliance - We are much more apt to be doing this for ourselves, not to impress or please someone else. This is a more sustainable motive, because it's not dependent on someone else's approval or praise. That isn't to say that support isn't a tremendous benefit. But this is such a difficult and personal quest, we need to be able to find the motivation within ourselves.
Posted by whaledancer at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006 7:06 AM PDT
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